Expect surprises aplenty at Northampton Carnival this weekend

Carnival is set to return to Northampton this weekend, with a few surprises.
Carnival is set to return to Northampton this weekend, with a few surprises.

Organisers are gearing up for another spectacular carnival in Northampton this weekend - with a few surprises you won't want to miss.

Thousands of people are expected to head to the Racecourse on Saturday (June 9) for the return of Northampton Carnival.

The carnival parade will start and finish at The Racecourse.

The carnival parade will start and finish at The Racecourse.

Between noon and 7.30pm the park will play host to live bands, a fun fair and a wide range of stalls including authentic Carribean food.

At 2pm, a mile-long parade of colourful dance troupes, brass bands and town schools will snake around Northampton town centre - entertaining crowds in Abington Street along the way.

This year, the 30-strong array of floats will see travelling troupes joined by displays from Northampton Music Festival (NMF), Northampton Borough Council and the Royal & Derngate theatre - which is understood to be promoting the upcoming return of Kinky Boots to the town.

The whole day will be brought to a close at the Racecourse by reggae band the Mystic Crew, who are set to take to the main stage in the park at 6pm.

Rolling roadblocks will be in place between around 2pm and 4.30pm on Saturday.

Rolling roadblocks will be in place between around 2pm and 4.30pm on Saturday.

Co-organiser Morcea Walker MBE, of the Northampton Carnival Committee, said spectators can expect a few surprises among the displays - but they are being kept closely under wraps until the big day.

“There is going to be a really nice surprise for people to see at the front of the parade this year,” she hinted.

“It’s something we haven’t done before - and it is being led by the mayor.”

Many of the costumes on display this year will also feature in the Queen’s Show- an East Midlands based competition to find the region’s best carnival dress.

This year the show is set to take place at the Spinney Hill Theatre on June 30.

The 2018 the carnival, which has a theme of 'peace, hope and unity', is set to take a slightly different route from last year, avoiding the sharp turn by The Abington Public House and Wantage Road.

Rolling road closures will be in place to minimise disruption.

Starting at 2pm, the carnival parade will exit the Racecourse by the pavilion entrance before heading right on Kettering Road towards Abington Square and passing York Road and St Giles Street.

It will continue in front of the Guildhall and the back of All Saints Church in Wood Hill before looping back around to Abington Street, where it will pause for a while.

The carnival will then snake back up to the Racecourse via Wellingborough Road, finishing at about 4.30pm.

Mrs Walker has urged the crowds of people heading into town on Saturday to pop into a local business for a browse or a bit of refreshment during the day.

For more information about the event head to the official carnival website here